Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

Are you a ‘good’ sleeper? Maybe you have difficulty falling asleep in the first place? Or do you wake up, perhaps several times, during the night?

I never seem to have any trouble going to sleep but I do tend to wake up in the early hours of the morning, when all those weird and worrying thoughts take over my brain. Then I find it really difficult to get back to sleep.

Apparently, I’m not alone. Since the pandemic first reared its ugly head, there have been many articles advising us on how to improve our sleep. Many of these focus on ‘sleep hygiene’ and ensuring that you, and your bedroom, are sleep ready. Strangely, when lockdown first happened, I was sleeping surprisingly well.

However, once lockdown eased and we took our first steps towards the ‘new normal’, my sleep pattern went haywire.

If I wake up, I try some of the following:

  • Applying lavender oil to my pillow
  • Attempting various breathing strategies
  • Putting on a sleep mask
  • Making mental lists of ‘nice’ thoughts
  • Recreating walks, in my mind, in some of my favourite places: Rhossili beach, Alum Chine to Boscombe, Hove to Brighton Marina, Canal du Midi
  • Reading, preferably something fairly light-hearted
  • Moving into the spare room

In France, I tend to sleep extremely well. I think this is partly, but not entirely, due to the shutters. Possibly, I feel more relaxed and there’s a sense being on holiday – even if we’re not!

In my sleep arsenal, I also have ear plugs, which I haven’t tried yet, and Rescue Night which is one of the Bach range of flower essences which I have used occasionally.

Some people are fans of sleep apps, like ‘Calm’. Another friend has recommended a grounding sheet.

What I’d like to know, lovely readers, is if you have any recommendations to help me get back to sleep, when I wake in the early hours, with my mind racing?

To finish, here are some photos of Zeph, asleep!